the doctrine that natural processes are mechanically determined and capable of explanation by the laws of physics and chemistry (the universe is lawful)
What is Determinism?
the belief that every act is determined or caused by past events
What is Reductionism?
the doctrine that explains phenomena on one level (such as complex ideas) in terms of phenomena on another level (such as simple ideas)
breaking things down from a complex level to a simple level
What is Empiricism?
the pursuit of knowledge through observation and experimentation
Who helped to free scientific inquiry from the control of rigid, centuries-old theological and intellectual beliefs
How did Descartes contribute to the mind-body problem?
by redefining the relationship between the mind and the body from the mind exerting enormous influence on the body and the body having little influence on the mind to both of them having a mutual interaction
What was the mind originally believed to be responsible for?
thought, reason, reproduction, perception, and movement
What was Descartes dispute toward the function of the mind?
In what way was the mind-body duality approach changed?
from the focus being on the abstract theological concept of soul to the scientific study of the mind and mental processes
How does movement and action in the physical world apply to the body?
the body is like a machine whose operation can be explained by the mechanical laws that govern the movement of all objects in space
What is the Reflex action theory?
the idea that an external object/stimulus can bring about an involuntary response
What are derived ideas?
arise from the direct application of an external stimulus, such as the sound of a bell or the sight of a tree
What are innate ideas?
develop out of the mind or consciousness, independent of sensory experiences or external stimuli
What is Positivism?
the doctrine that recognizes only natural phenomena or facts that are objectively observable
What is Materialism?
the facts of the universe could be described in physical terms and explained by the properties of matter and energy
Examples of Innate ideas
God, the self, perfection, infinity
Who came up with the idea of the mind being a "tabula rasa" (blank or clean slate)?
What are the two experiences recognized by Locke?
Sensation and Reflection
What are simple ideas?
ideas that arise from both sensation and reflection and are received passively by the mind (they are elemental)
What are complex ideas?
ideas compounded of simple ideas, and hence capable of being analyzed or resolved into their simpler component ideas
What is the theory of association?
the notion that knowledge results from linking or associating simple ideas to form complex ideas (process of learning)
What are primary qualities?
size and shape that exist in an object whether or not we perceive them
What are secondary qualities?
color and odor that exist not in the object but in a person's perception of the object
Who believed that there were only secondary qualities?
What is Mentalism?
all knowledge is a function of mental phenomena and dependent on the perceiving or experiencing person
What is Reflection?
mind operates on the sense impressions to produce abstractions and other higher level ideas
What is depth perception?
an association of ideas that must be learned
What did David Hartley believe differently than Descartes about nerve fibers?
that nerve fibers are solid structures rather than hollow tubes with vibrations that transmit impulses from one part of the body to the other
What is the association of contiguity?
ideas or sensations that occur together, simultaneously or successively, become associated so that the occurrence of one is connected with the occurrence of the other
What is the association of repetition?
the notion that the more frequently two ideas occur together, the more readily they will be associated
How did James Mill view the mind?
as a machine that is a totally passive entity that is acted on by external stimuli which we respond to automatically (no concept of free will)
What is mental chemistry?
the belief that the mind plays an active role in the association of ideas
What is creative synthesis?
the notion that complex ideas formed from simple ideas take on new qualities; the combination of the mental elements creates something greater than or different from the sum of the original elements